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Chinese FM Spokesperson: China Has Always Been Taking Actions to Promote Global Climate Governance and Fulfilling International Obligations Suited to Its National Conditions

2021-11-02 15:05

At a regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on 2 November, spokesperson Wang Wenbin answered a question about China’s effort to tackle climate change.

Journalist: In his important remarks at the G20 Rome Summit, President Xi Jinping put forward China's proposals and initiatives for protecting the Earth and build a community of life for man and Nature. These important propositions point out the key to the success of the upcoming COP26 and give a strong boost to the global effort to tackle climate change.

W: I would like to take this opportunity to share China's vigorous measures and tangible contributions in this regard. China has always been taking actions to promote global climate governance and fulfilling international obligations suited to its national conditions. What's more, China has been taking extra actions to scale up the efforts to tackle climate change. Since September last year, President Xi Jinping has announced the goals and vision of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, a series of goals of Nationally Determined Contributions and concrete policies and measures, including those on domestic coal plants, coal consumption and no new coal-fired power projects abroad. This is a demonstration of China's firm resolve to tackle climate change. Recently, China released the Working Guidance for Carbon Dioxide Peaking and Carbon Neutrality in Full and Faithful Implementation of the New Development Philosophy, the Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030 and the white paper titled Responding to Climate Change: China's Policies and Actions. We also submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat China's Achievements, New Goals and New Measures for Nationally Determined Contributions and China's Mid-Century Long-Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy. These concrete measures to follow through on the Paris Agreement reflect China's sense of responsibility and latest contribution to the global response to climate change.

In response to your question about whether China's contributions are ambitious enough, I would like to share with you some data for comparison. It will take 71 years for the EU, 43 years for the US and 37 years for Japan, all of which are developed economies, to move from carbon peak to carbon neutrality. However, China has set itself a time limit of only 30 years. The time taken by the EU, the US and Japan is 2.4 times, 1.4 times and 1.2 times that of China respectively. As the largest developing country, China will cut carbon emission intensity more than any other country in the world and move from carbon peak to carbon neutrality in the shortest span in history. This will take arduous efforts and fully demonstrates China's sense of responsibility on this issue as a major country.

I also want to point out that research shows that climate change is the result of cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases. Developed countries have unshirkable and historical responsibility since they have been releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for the past 200 years or so of industrialization. For example, the US cumulative historical emissions level per capita are eight times that of China. The US has seriously undermined the confidence in and effectiveness of global cooperation on climate change by refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. At present, the challenge of climate change poses a grave challenge to mankind's subsistence and development, which underlines the urgency of international cooperation. Developed countries, the US included, should earnestly follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, face squarely their historical responsibilities, demonstrate greater ambition and actions, and take the lead in fulfilling emission reduction obligations. Meanwhile, they should provide financial, technological and capacity-building support to help developing countries enhance their capacity to respond to climate challenges.

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